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A journal of running, healthy food, mountains, bikes and technology by Julia Revitt

How do you drink yours? You should be drinking between 2 – 3 litres of fluid every day and water is the best source of hydration for your body as it contains exactly what your body needs with no unwanted calories. You may choose to get your water from the tap, or a bottle or via a water filter but which is best?

Tap Water:

The main concern with tap water is the question of safety? Is it clean enough to drink or is it loaded with chemicals and bugs?

Tap water originates from reservoirs which supply about 50%, ground water about 45% and rivers about 5%. It is checked by your local water authority for bacteria, chemicals, metals and it’s look and taste. According to the Anglian Water Drinking Water Quality Report 2005 random tests were taken from 11,924 taps in the Anglian region and 99.85% of these passed the testing procedure. Testing also takes place at the reservoirs, water towers and treatment works and including the random tap testing 99.97% of all tests passed. A risk assessment takes place for those that fail the testing and necessary corrective action is taken.

Tap water has chlorine which is used to kill off harmful bacteria. You may be able to taste the chorine and this may put you off drinking it. If this is your only concern with tap water it is easily resolved as according to the Anglian Water Drinking Water Quality Report 2004, leaving tap water in a jug in the fridge for a few hours reduces the taste of chlorine in the water – this water should be replaced daily to keep it fresh.

To see the Anglian Water Drinking Water Report 2005 and more information on the testing procedure, go towww.anglianwater.co.uk

Filtered Water:

Filtered water is tap water that has been filtered to remove the chlorine and some minerals (mainly calcium and magnesium) and may replace these with sodium. Filters can be placed on the incoming water supply, in a storage jug or in a kettle.

Brita water filters claim their filters have the following benefits over tap water;

  • Great tasting
  • Reduces limescale
  • Reduces scum during cooking
  • Costs less than bottled water
  • Cut flowers last longer
  • Household plants thrive

The advantages are that the water could taste and look better than tap water as the chlorine will have been removed. Brita also claim that lead and copper from the water pipes are removed during the filtering process. The disadvantages are that you have to replace the water filter according to the manufacturers instructions, otherwise you will be drinking unfiltered tap water. The filters cost money, produce packaging waste and as there is no testing being done on your water, how do you know they are actually working? For more information, go to www.brita.net

Bottled Water:

According to the International Bottled Water Association, the advantages of drinking bottled water are;

  • Consistent safety
  • Quality
  • Good Taste
  • Convenience

Bottled water source could be tap water, spring water, purified water or mineral water.

Spring water is bottled from an underground flow of water which may be treated before bottling. Purified water and distilled water is produced by distilling tap water. Tap water must be labeled tap water. Mineral water contains a certain proportion of minerals and trace elements at the source. Minerals cannot be added to the water.

Evian claim their bottled water contains the following minerals naturally from the waters of the French Alps;

  • Calcium
  • Bicarbonates
  • Magnesium
  • Sulfates
  • Silica
  • Chlorides
  • Nitrates

The disadvantages of bottled water are the cost, the waste of the plastic bottles and the inconvenience of having to carry the heavy bottles home from the shop. Britas Water Filters claim the mineral content of some bottled water is so low as to be negligible.

For more information, go to www.bottledwater.org

The Conclusion:

Drink tap water if you don’t mind the taste and like your water free, drink bottled if you don’t mind the inconvenience of buying/carrying your water or drink filtered if you don’t mind the cost and effort of keeping the filters up to date. Both filtered and bottled have packaging that needs to be disposed of – so if you like to keep your waste to a minimum go for the tap water.

 

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  1. December 14, 2009

    Hi Julia,

    Tap water consistently rises to the top for everyday use. I agree. There are other dimensions to water, however, that you may consider pondering.

    Water is like a living system in the sense that it possesses a dynamic internal order, and it works to maintain that. Pollutants and chemical processes between water sources and our taps or bottle spouts can interfere with this internal order, which is also important to living organisms. Neither tap water nor bottled waters really take it into account- but it is food for thought.

    Water, due to its physical structure, exhibits many properties of living organisms (at a limited scale), like metabolism, self-cleansing abilities (through cooperation with natural micro-organisms), energy storage, and information processing.

    Some even think water has an internal language!

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